Margaret Mims, Fresno County Sheriff, was one of the speakers Feb. 25 at the flag lowering ceremony to honor the lives of Reedley Police Officer Javier Bejar and Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputy Joel Wahlenmaier. Also pictured is Joe Garza, Reedley chief of police.

On the morning of Feb. 25, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims told Reedley Police Chief Joe Garza that the two departments will forever share an unfortunate connection. 

“Because of the loss of Javier Bejar and Joel Wahlenmaier,” Mims said, “The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Wahlenmaier and Bejar family, Chief Garza and I, will always have a bond. A bond of the kind we wished we didn’t have. A bond that we didn’t necessarily have before Feb. 25, 2010.”

Mims, along with members of several other law enforcement agencies from throughout the state, attended the city’s annual flag lowering ceremony held in front of the Reedley Police Department to honor the lives of Javier Bejar and Joel Wahlenmaier. 

It was just after 8:30 a.m. on that morning in 2010 when a man named Rick Liles shot at police after they attempted to serve a search warrant at his mobile home in Minkler. Liles had been suspected in several arson and shooting incidents in the area. 

According to reports, officers arrived at the home of Liles to serve the search warrant however when they ordered him to come out of the home, he refused. When police knocked down his door, Liles began shooting at officers. 

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